Pushing the boat out – Old York TI RAM Virtual Business Panto Update

Following an internal leak, resulting in the plot being published on the Provincial website, the Old York VBP is now wallowing in Masonic protocol. I’ve cleared my inbox in anticipation of the inevitable tsunami of statutory guidance, streaming through the ether, from Grand Lodge and the joint Provincial lockdown bunker on how Virtual Business Pantos must be run. Doubtless there’ll be reams of rules on the wording for the programme, the dress code for actors and audience, and regulations covering what can and cannot be done during the interval – all so we stay compliant. I cannot wait.


The immediate effect of this has been the Prov. GADC insisting on the cast assembling an hour before dress-rehearsal to practice walking on the virtual stage. He was joined just two brethren. One who’d come off British Summer Time a week early (!) and the other who is next up for ProvRAMGR. Typical.


The rehearsal started quite well, once the Good Fairy shovelled himself into his tutu. Well done Howard. Maybe give yourself a bit more time to prepare for the actual performance? Also, I never knew Readymix manufactured fairy dust. There, you learn something every day. And, talking of learning, if any other Lodges are planning a Virtual Business Panto, it will be a good idea to put all the Past Commanders on mute to stop them prompting all the time.


But, back to the plot. You may recall in Act One the evil Capt. Jaggered Hook abducted Peter, Michael and the Lost Boys. Well, it transpires he’s forcing them to work in his seat shop, in inhumane conditions, manufacturing Old York face masks (£7.50 each to you, all proceeds to the Festival).


Alanddin’s rescue attempt was thwarted being blown off (the golf course) into the inhospitable northern wastelands where they were press-ganged VW Cmdr. JF Clough and his Abbey crew. They were last seen dragging Cloughie, aboard The Jolly Pub Crawl, on yet another sponsored barge- pull.


The other rescue attempt, Capt. Pugwash’s epic voyage to far far away land, has been put on hold as our WCN has a bit of a mutiny on his hands. It seems like a case of identity theft after an email, from someone in Pitcairn, claimed to be the real Fletcher Christian. Hopefully the matter will soon be resolved without recourse to DNA testing as Track and Trace are still away posing at Prince Charming’s charity ball in their new regalia. And, whilst on the subject of the dynamic duo, we must keep Andy away from Long John Silver-Brooke’s wooden leg as he’s desperate to practice with his new Prov. JW’s axe.


Not to be outdone all this, Old York Mark are staging a Virtual Business Nativity next month. I can’t give any secrets away (because it’s Freemasonry) but I can say it’s a contemporary morality play teaching a valuable lesson in perseverance overcoming rejection. It’s a story of a young, unmarried couple trying to find a room for the night in Cleckheaton during lockdown.


I’ll keep you all informed.